For Saville, the era in which the bands were producing music and the founding of Factory Records by Tony Wilson was a notable moment in which post-punk was flourishing and the independent music scene was burgeoning. He describes Tony Wilson as the sun in a solar system of collaborating artists.
However, it wasn't so much collaboration as a group of individuals doing their thing as a collective. He notes that it was the product of that moment in history and a need to be outside of the established system.
In this period, particularly in Manchester, Saville notes that record sleeves were a predominant means of distributing contemporary visual arts. For Higgs, curator of the True Faith exhibition, this moves a step further with music as a gateway drug to other forms of art.
He explains that the art within the exhibition celebrates the coexistence of the different aesthetics that the two bands used. The discussion looks at how we 'code' different aesthetics and types of art, with conceptual art seen as reductive and minimal. Yet, the bands moved beyond these kids of art coming from the US and the West Coast, instead English artists embodied strong principles and politics, with the art as incredibly post-modern - ironic and aware of its own limits.
The lasting legacy of the art is clearly important to the city and the panelists all agree that these ideas remain in flux and pertinent to every new generation. Hearing from Saville himself about the art that inspired a generation was insightful and offered much more about the exhibition.
- You can see the exhibition True Faith at Manchester Art Gallery until 3rd September. You can see the final two events: We need to talk about Truth and We Need to talk about Change, at Albert Hall Sat 15th July. You can also view previous talks online - find more information on the MIF Website.